• Gas prices fall nearly 6 cents in Maine

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Gas prices in Maine have fallen nearly 6 cents per gallon in the past week. The average retail gas price in Maine was $2.65 per gallon on Sunday. The figure is based on a GasBuddy.com survey of 1,228 gas outlets in the state. The national average price remained fell 5.5 cents to $2.65 per gallon. Maine gas prices were 96.3 cents less per gallon than the same day in 2014 and 13.6 cents lower than a month ago. The national average price is 84.5 cents cheaper than a year ago and 11.6 cents less per gallon than a month ago.

  • Sears sales fall sharply in 2Q as it spins off real estate

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) — Sears Holdings Corp. says a key sales figure fell sharply in the second quarter, particularly dragged down by weakness at its namesake stores. It's at least the 10th straight quarter that the metric has declined. The operator of Sears and Kmart stores said that sales at stores open at least a year dropped 10.6 percent for the quarter to date. This figure is considered an important measurement of a retailer's operating performance because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed. The retailer also said it expected that proceeds from the spinoff of some of its real estate will lead it to report a second-quarter profit of between $155 million and $205 million, which has also helped

  • Gas prices fall more than a nickel in New Hampshire

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Gas prices in New Hampshire have fallen 5.1 cents per gallon in the past week, to an average of $2.60. Gasbuddy.com, which surveyed 875 gas stations in the state, says that's 5 cents less than the national average, which fell 5.5 cents to $2.65. Gas prices in New Hampshire are 96.6 cents lower per gallon than a year ago and 12.4 cents lower per gallon than a month ago. The national average is 84.5 cents less per gallon than a year ago and fell 12.4 cents per gallon in the past month.

  • Who wins and loses under Obama's stricter power plant limits

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is mandating even steeper greenhouse gas cuts from U.S. power plants than previously expected, while granting states more time and broader options to comply. The tweaks to Obama's unprecedented emissions limits on power plants, to be unveiled at the White House on Monday, aim to address a bevy of concerns raised by both environmentalist and the energy industry in more than 4 million public comments received by the Environmental Protection Agency. Opponents plan to sue to stop the rule, and on Monday, the National Mining Association wrote the EPA a letter requesting that the agency put the rule on hold while the legal challenges play out. If the EPA refuses, industry groups plan to as

  • US consumer spending edges up in June

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer spending in June rose by the smallest amount in four months as shoppers cut back on purchases of cars and other big-ticket items. Consumer spending edged up 0.2 percent in June, the poorest showing since a similar increase in February, the Commerce Department reported Monday. The modest advance followed a revised 0.7 percent rise in spending in May. The increase had been driven by heavy spending on autos. But in June, auto sales slowed. Overall purchases of durable goods, the category that covers autos, fell 1.3 percent in June. Personal income rose 0.4 percent for a third straight month, reflecting strong employment gains. Economists didn't appear too concerned about the June spending

  • US consumer spending up 0.2 percent in June, weakest gain in 4 months; income rises

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — US consumer spending up 0.2 percent in June, weakest gain in 4 months; income rises.

  • Exor buying PartnerRe in deal valued at about $6.9 billion

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — PartnerRe's biggest shareholder, Italian investment company Exor, is buying the reinsurer in a deal worth about $6.9 billion. PartnerRe is ending its all-stock agreement with Axis Capital Holdings Ltd., which was made in January, in order to move ahead with a combination with Exor. PartnerRe previously rejected a $6.16 billion bid from Exor. Exor S.p.A. said Monday that it will pay $137.50 for each outstanding share of PartnerRe, as well as a $3 per share special dividend. PartnerRe Ltd.'s board will be able to solicit competing offers and enter talks related to proposals received before Sept. 14. PartnerRe said that it will continue to be based in Bermuda. The transaction is targeted to cl

  • Gas prices tumble around Ohio as summer starts to wind down

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gas prices around Ohio are tumbling further toward the $2 mark. The state's average for a gallon of regular gas was about $2.31 in Monday's survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That's a decrease of 15 cents compared with a week ago. It's down $1.17 from this time last year. The national average on Monday was $2.65, down six cents from a week ago. The cost of gas for Ohio drivers has been declining from a summer peak in June, and that's expected to continue. ___ Online: AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report: http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.

  • Patrol identifies Killdeer man killed in weekend crash

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    KILLDEER, N.D. (AP) — Authorities have identified a Killdeer man who died in a head-on collision in the western North Dakota oil patch. The Highway Patrol says a car driven by 26-year-old Anthony Miller crossed into the oncoming lane at the crest of a hill on state Highway 200 near Killdeer and collided with an oil tanker shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday. Miller was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the oil tanker wasn't hurt.

  • Officials in Vegas to voice support for EPA energy campaign

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Several Nevada government and business leaders plan to voice support for a federal campaign to limit carbon pollution from power plants around the nation in an effort to address global climate change. Organizers say a Monday rally in Las Vegas will follow an Environmental Protection Agency announcement with a list of Nevada businesses supporting the idea of a state clean power plan. Some Republican governors are critical of the federal plan. But Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval's energy chief, Paul Thomsen, says Nevada is well-positioned to comply with the first national limits on carbon dioxide from existing power plants. The state's main utility, NV Energy, plans to shut down its aging coal-fired Re

  • Pro-Bush super PAC received $1M from Florida power company

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The largest Florida corporate donor to a super political action committee backing former Gov. Jeb Bush's presidential run is NextEra Energy Inc., the company that owns electric utility giant Florida Power & Light. Bush, a leading Republican contender, knows the company well. In 2009, more than two years after leaving office, he penned an opinion piece in the state capital's newspaper urging regulators to approve the utility's proposed rate increase for Florida customers. "With power, the cash registers open and close," Bush wrote in the op-ed, published in the Tallahassee Democrat. FP&L is the state's largest electric utility, and NextEra operates in 26 other states and Canada.

  • Democrats happy with Obama outreach as they weigh Iran deal

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Determined to secure support for the Iran nuclear deal, President Barack Obama is making inroads with a tough constituency — his fellow Democrats in Congress. A handful of key Democrats stepped forward to support the accord within hours of Obama's personal lobbying at the White House last week, part of the administration's all-out campaign since the pact was announced July 14. Other Democrats have signaled they are leaning in favor and still others have remained undeclared, awaiting a vote in September. The deal, which curbs Iran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions smothering its economy, is not a traditional fight between the White House and Republicans, who control the House and Sen

  • How the AP-GfK poll on water was conducted

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    The Associated Press-GfK poll on water and drought was conducted by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications July 9-13. It is based on online interviews of 1,004 adults who are members of GfK's nationally representative KnowledgePanel. The original sample was drawn from respondents recruited by phone or mail survey methods. GfK provides Internet access to participants who don't already have it. With a probability basis and coverage of people who otherwise couldn't access the Internet, online surveys using KnowledgePanel are nationally representative. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish.

  • Water & farmers: Things to know about AP-GfK drought poll

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds most Americans think of water as a limited resource that can be depleted if people use too much. When asked to rate priorities when water is scarce during a drought, more said agriculture should be a top or high priority over residential needs, wildlife and industry. Here is a look at some of the poll's key findings: ___ WATER IS A LIMITED RESOURCE The poll shows two-thirds of Americans think of water as a limited resource that could be depleted if people use too much, while just one third think of it as a renewable resource that will always be there for people to use. The belief that water is a limited resource crosses party lines, with a majority of

  • AP-GfK poll: Americans favor farmers & food during drought

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds most Americans think of water as a limited resource that can be depleted if people use too much. The national survey provides a glimpse into how Americans think water should be managed when abnormally dry weather is afflicting parts of the country, and water shortages in some states have led to conflict over who should get water and how much. The poll of 1,004 adults found that two-thirds believe water is a limited resource that should be conserved. And 70 percent believe government should restrict how much residents and businesses use when drought takes hold. Asked to rate the importance of needs when water is scarce, 74 percent say agriculture should be

  • Koch warns conservatives must demand smaller government

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    DANA POINT, Calif. (AP) — Billionaire industrialist Charles Koch warned America is "done for" if the conservative donors and politicians he gathered at a retreat over the weekend don't rally others to their cause of demanding a smaller, less-intrusive government. "History demonstrates that when the American people get motivated by an issue of justice, that they believe is just, extraordinary things can be accomplished," he said on Sunday, going on to reference the American Revolution, abolition of slavery and women's and civil rights movements. "We, too, are seeking to right injustices that are holding our country back.

  • Proof of Trump's charity giving elusive

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump, widely believed to be the wealthiest American ever to run for president, is nowhere among the ranks of the country's most generous citizens, according to an Associated Press review of his financial records and other government filings. Trump has said he donated $102 million worth of cash and land to philanthropic and conservation organizations over the past five years. But his campaign has provided little documentation for most of these contributions, and tax filings of the Donald J. Trump foundation show Trump has made no charitable contributions to his own namesake nonprofit since 2008. Without an endowment, the fund has continued to give grants only as a result of contributions from others.

  • Climate change: Obama orders steeper cuts from power plants

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Aiming to jolt the rest of the world to action, President Barack Obama moved ahead Sunday with even tougher greenhouse gas cuts on American power plants, setting up a certain confrontation in the courts with energy producers and Republican-led states. In finalizing the unprecedented pollution controls, Obama was installing the core of his ambitious and controversial plan to drastically reduce overall U.S. emissions, as he works to secure a legacy on fighting global warming. Yet it will be up to Obama's successor to implement his plan, which reverberated across the 2016 presidential campaign trail. Opponents planned to sue immediately, and to ask the courts to block the rule temporarily. Many states have th

  • Canadian rivers: Solution to Northeast's high energy prices?


    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Plenty of raw electricity sloshes around in Quebec's rivers and reservoirs, promising relief for U.S. northeasterners, who pay the nation's highest power costs. But getting those electrons to smartphones and air conditioners in Boston, Hartford and New York City is another matter entirely. In review or under construction are five large-scale hydropower proposals that could pump thousands of megawatts into the Northeast and ease prices as supply increases. But critics worry that transmission lines will despoil the natural beauty of places like New Hampshire's White Mountains, and that overreliance on it will stymie efforts to trim consumption and develop renewable energy sources closer to home.

  • Cake: The new favorite mode for American political debate?


    NEW YORK (AP) — It really should be a piece of cake. Customer comes in, asks for a cake with a specific design or for a particular event, baker makes it, everyone's happy. But sometimes customers and bakers have clashed over what goes on the cake, or whether to make it at all. An Oregon bakery was fined for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple's wedding. A baker in Colorado refused to write anti-gay messages on a customer's cake. A Louisiana man posted a video lambasting a Wal-Mart for not making a cake with a Confederate flag on it. Somehow, cake can raise questions over where the free speech of customers ends and that of bakers begins.